Week 29

Ava is 29 weeks old

Ava went for a weigh-in on Saturday, and everything came up in sevens. She weighs 7.77 kgs and is 70.7 cm long. Her weight is pretty much average for her age (she’s in the 50th percentile) but her height is in the 90th percentile. For non-moms, that means that she’s heavier than 50% of other babies her age (and lighter than 50% too) and is taller than 90% of them (and shorter than 10% of them). No wonder parents are so set on comparing their babies to others of  a similar age – that’s how health professionals measure them!

So Ava’s becoming more and more of an Edwards as she gets older – it started off as being mostly in her colouring, and now it’s in her height as well. I can’t quite believe how much she’s shot up – I never thought I’d have a tall child. Especially because she’s a girl, I’ve half-expected her to be a lot like me. Instead, she’s an interesting combination of Dylan’s father’s family with eyes that have my eyes’ shape and colour. Even friends who have never met Dylan’s father or his sister (but have seen photos) comment on how much Ava looks like them. It’s great, and I think she’s gorgeous, but I wouldn’t have minded having a baby who very clearly resembles one or both of Dylan and I!

Now that she’s a big girl, she needs a lot more to eat. Apparently the three little ice cubes of defrosted, mashed butternut are not going to cut it for supper any more. For the last couple of days she’s been getting sweet potato, peas, potato and butternut, with a bit of fruit and a bottle for pudding, for lunch and supper. Which excites her to no end, let me tell you. And since she’s been getting big-girl meals, she’s started sleeping until 6am. That extra hour does me the world of good.

I’m still not 100% sure about what we’re feeding her, though. It’s another of those instances where everything you read and all the advice you get differs. The nurse at the clinic said babies should only get protein from 8 months, but a book I’ve got says they can get yoghurt and stewed meat from 6 months. The nurse said to only give her porridge for breakfast, and the book says she should have porridge in two to three feeds a day. I’m not too keen on giving Ava meat or fish unless it’s been very naturally and ethically reared, so I need to know what the protein alternatives are. And how come yoghurt is ok at this age, supposedly, but cows’ milk isn’t allowed until babies are a year old?

So I’m going to make a paediatrician appointment for the next week or so, just to double check. Obviously every baby is different, so hopefully she’ll be able to give us an idea of what to feed Ava based on Ava’s build and her preferences (well, her preferences are easy – if it’s food, she loves it. Phew).



Week 28

Ava is 28 weeks old

[How funny is that expression? I just couldn’t resist putting this one up. That’s her new teething-face right there.]

Major development this week: I finally got Ava into cloth nappies! *pats self on back*

After putting it off for so long, I’m really relieved at how easy they are to use. They’re fitted and all-in-one – they’ve got a built-in cotton liner and waterproof, and have the same shape as disposables, with velcro tabs to secure them. There’s no difference between them and the disposables as far as I can tell other than that, instead of dumping them in the nappy bin, I dump them in the nappy bucket, and, the next day, rinse them out and hang them up to dry. I use an additional disposable “downy” liner to keep Ava as dry as possible, which gets thrown away.

You’re probably wondering about the poo. And even if you weren’t, I’m going to tell you about it – if you don’t have kids and are squeamish, just skip ahead to the next paragraph. The disposable liner ‘catches’ the poo (as Ava’s on solids now, her poo is also – err – solid), and then the poo gets flushed down the loo. Where it belongs. And no, I don’t ever have to touch it.

It’s hard to describe, but there’s something really satisfying about putting her in cloth nappies. Maybe it’s because they feel so soft and looks so comfortable on her. Maybe it’s knowing that every time I do it, I’m saving us a little bit of money, and, in a very small way, making up for all the disposable nappies I’ve been adding to landfills in the six months of Ava’s life.

She still sleeps in disposables, though – not even with the extra liner are the cloth nappies quite as dry or absorbent as the Pampers premium disposables we’ve got her in. I wouldn’t want her in a cloth nappy for the seven or eight hours she’s asleep at night.

[I’m pretty chuffed with myself, I must say. I made a deal with myself that I would breast-feed until Ava was 6 months old, and that, by 6 months, she would be sleeping in her own room and wearing her cloth nappies during the day. And so far, it’s all worked out. A lot of my plans and good intentions have dissolved in the face of the realities of having a baby, but, in these three instances at least, I feel like I’ve done okay.]

Week 27

Ava is 27 weeks old

This week, I’ve been trying to learn to avoid the comparison trap. It’s hard not to compare Ava to other babies of a similar age. The problem is, I start dwelling on the things that Ava’s doing slower or with less aptitude than other babies and forget about the things that make her so precious and unique.

Like, I hardly think about the fact that she’s already got two lovely strong, straight white teeth on her bottom gum while a couple of other babies I know didn’t sprout teeth until they were months older. And I forget that she got separation/stranger-danger anxiety about a month before most babies do (not such a nice thing, but at least it was *something* she was doing earlier than other little ones her age).

Instead, my mind keeps going back to the fact that Ava’s umbilical cord fell off on the 14th day of her life, when the maximum number of days it should take to fall off is 14. And the fact that kids younger than her are crawling (like fellow blogger Clever Bird‘s amazing little bub) and sitting, while Ava can’t even roll in one direction, never mind both. And she’s not showing any desire to start rolling, or crawling, and when she sits up by herself for half a second, she just plops back down onto her back and carries on with whatever she was doing or looking at.

I need to work on remembering that Ava has a really special little nature – she laughs easily, smiles at everything, hardly ever cries, and seems to just want to please. I need to remember that she eats well (is mad about pretty much every solid food we’ve ever given her, with a penchant for peas and sweet potato) and sleeps reliably about 90% of the time. Even though she is not showing much desire to be more physical or to move around right now, she loves to babble and sing, and she thinks our pets are the coolest things ever, especially when I let the dogs lick her feet. She squirms with happiness whenever she sees them, and has a special little gurgle she makes just for them.

Just because she’s not rolling or moving herself around or sitting up by herself yet doesn’t mean she’ll be physically delayed, or that she’ll hate sports, or that she’ll be as much of a co-ord as I am. It also doesn’t mean I’ve done anything wrong, necessarily. I need to tell myself these things, or I’ll go mad – or have to cancel my Facebook account and never see any of our friends and family who have babies. Which won’t be fair to Ava, obviously – because when she’s finally crawling, and walking, and running around, she’ll need friends to do all these things with.

Week 26

Ava is 26 weeks old

To celebrate Ava’s half-birthday, here is a poem that makes me smile-cry. Happy major-milestone to my adorable, squidgy little baby-love.

‘You are my I love you’

– by Maryann K Cusimano

I am your parent, you are my child
I am your quiet place, you are my wild
I am your calm face, you are my giggle
I am your wait, you are my wiggle
I am your audience, you are my clown
I am your London Bridge, you are my falling down
I am your Carrot Sticks, you are my licorice
I am your dandelion, you are my first wish
I am your water wings, you are my deep
I am your open arms, you are my running leap
I am your way home, you are my new path
I am your dry towel, you are my wet bath
I am your dinner, you are my chocolate cake
I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake
I am your finish line, you are my race
I am your praying hands, you are my saving grace
I am your favourite book, you are my new lines
I am your nightlight, you are my sunshine
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo
I am your kiss goodnight, you are my I love you

Week 25

Ava is 25 weeks old

Ava’s firsts this week:

  • Tasting mango (see mess in photo), which, it’s safe to say, went down very well indeed.
  • Sitting in a high chair. My mom gave us the chair Ava’s sitting in in the photo. It clips onto the table. It’s so much easier to feed her there rather than on my lap – at least this way I can see her mouth. Not that being able to see her mouth really reduces the mess at all, as is evident above.
  • Falling. Ava face-planted onto a concrete stoep on Sunday when we were visiting family. Of course her first fall would happen in front of a group of people rather than in private at home where nobody could see! She screamed and screamed, and had a little roastie on her nose. I felt absolutely awful. I’d put her down on her bum and in the second I turned away to pick up my water glass, down she plopped. She can usually support herself pretty well, so I think it took us both by surprise.
  • Making Xhosa clicks. We can now have whole conversations using a combination of the ‘x’ click and the ‘c’ click. I’m not sure if she’s doing them by accident but it thrills me to bits.
  • Not sleeping through. Well, technically she is sleeping through – five to six hours at a stretch is pretty good at this age. But having her waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning is obviously far from ideal (and, in my opinion, can’t be called ‘sleeping through’ at all, especially when she used to sleep until 5.30 – much easier to deal with). Apparently these issues crop up during teething, so I’m not too worried, but just in case, we’ve started feeding her porridge three times a day instead of two so she gets more calories, and are trying to put her to sleep for the night in her own room. I have no idea whether this will work or not, but I am feeling foolishly optimistic.